It sounds cliché but tomorrow is not guaranteed. This most recent tragic, senseless loss reminds me of that. I’m thankful to be surrounded by an extended skateboard family that I do not take for granted. Hug your friends, hug your kids, try to do good shit daily. Tomorrow is a gift.
Terrence’s family asked me to speak at his funeral. It was both one of the hardest and personally meaningful things I have ever done. If you could not make the ceremony below are the words and some photos I collected in the last few days.
Keep Pushing guys.
Terrence Memorial Words:
10 years ago my family moved into a house about 5 doors down from the McCrary family. I am a skateboarder – and as a skateboarder when I hear the sounds of skateboarding I have to look and see whats going on. Well, that first night in our new house I heard sounds of skateboarding outside our window.
On a patch of bricks under a lone street lamp was little kid skating. ..well ..let’ s be clear ..he was learning to skate and doing it in a crazy way. He had his feet strapped to the board with a rubber bicycle inter-tube. He was trying to jump up onto a bench with his board dangerously tied to his feet. It was a funny sight to say the least.
My son Jack and I introduced ourselves to Terrence that night. He was all smiles. So happy. So determined to learn how to skate. We invited him to skate with us the coming weekend. Jack was about 8 then / Terrence 11 or 12 and that was it… from that first night… Terrence became part of our family.
With that first weekend trip we created a lasting routine. Years of it. No – really … Years… Years… Every Sat and Sun (after Terrence finished church of course Florence) rain or shine we went somewhere to skate. Terrence named us the Weekend Crew.
Here’s the thing – most people can’t keep up with my schedule. Terrence Always did. ‘What time Jim? Be at your house at 8? BET! I’ll be there’… and he always was… Smiling and excited to go on another skate adventure.
We went everywhere. All over the Bay, San Jose , Sacramento, LA, everywhere – Terrence, Jack and I. The Weekend Crew. I can’t think of one bad trip… years of them. If T was along for the ride it was sure to be a good one. I just remember him smiling and laughing so much… even when we were sure he broke his arm in Sacramento. He did a great job hiding the pain ‘No Jim, Im ok..you finish your session..’ What the heck… c’mon..? But – That was, is and will always be Terrence – always positive..even when his his arm was in two pieces.
Florence – Thank you for never getting mad at me when I dropped your son back home at the end of those days – scraped and bruised. I know it may have looked odd – but I’m glad you let him go with – THANK YOU!
Terrence was always at our house, hanging out, laughing..eating our food… He would watch Jack when Lynn and I went on date nights. Even at his young age. I trusted Terrence implicitly with my son. Wherever they went / whatever they were doing – I knew that if Jack was with Terrence he was in great hands.
As the years passed, I also began to value Terrence’s relationship with my family for very selfish reasons. So much of who Terrence was, the kindness, respect, dependability and honesty he showed others, how he could make anyone feel welcomed, safe and good in his presence… As a father when you cross paths with those truly special people – those who can be great influences on your children – well – you do everything you can to connect them. Selfishly – I knew that Jack would benefit from Terrence’s influence.
As Jack got older and more independent, he would go to the Berkeley skate park alone… and that was a tough life change for me… but here’s the secret… Jack wasn’t really ‘alone’. Parents here… If you have an inside man / someone you can trust working with you – you have to use them right? Well – Terrence was my inside guy.. he was my eyes and ears when I wasn’t around and we had a secret understanding…
One call to Terrence in those times and I knew I didn’t have to worry. We had a very simple code – ‘T you got Jack?’ ‘Of course Fam (he always called us Fam)… You know I always got ya…’.
Terrence was like Jack’s older brother. He played a huge role in helping Jack grow to be the great young man he is today. Im forever thankful for that. It’s tough to find words other then thank you. Thank You Terrence and thank you Florence and Terrence Sr. for allowing your son to become a part of my family.
We loved him deeply.
We all can agree – Terrence had the ability to make anyone and everyone feel good around him. He lit up every room, brightened every situation. It is an extraordinary person who does that. Look around at this gathering. How many different individuals and groups are here. All ages, all races, all our collective differences – Terrence was able to bridge all of that and bring us together.
A fire can start with just one match. A movement with a single push. Change… Well change can start with one person.
Terrence Sr. – four days ago while you hugged me tight – you told me your son was going to change the world. Well – look around – one person – your son – Terrence Jr. showed this huge group of people first hand how to treat others with love, compassion and to try to help everyone feel good and accepted.
I guarantee you Sir – I guarantee you that Terrence Jr. changed each of us and in turn – what we learned from him will be something that we will all carry, pass on – and in doing so – Terrence has and will continue to change the world.
Terrence we all miss you more than words.
We are grateful for the joy you brought each of us.
We will keep your spirit alive.
Roll forever my friend.